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Democrats set to begin mostly virtual convention Monday

The theme for Monday night's program is "We the People," the party said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is seen before he speaks on the third day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The 2020 convention, which will culminate with his nomination for president, begins Monday.  File Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI
Former Vice President Joe Biden is seen before he speaks on the third day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The 2020 convention, which will culminate with his nomination for president, begins Monday.  File Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The Democratic Party will begin its national convention Monday to formally nominate Joe Biden for president.

Instead of flooding Milwaukee with thousands of donkey-clad supporters, however, the Democratic National Convention is taking most events online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The four-day convention, beginning Monday, will feature a host of council and caucus meetings and speeches besides the official nomination of the party's candidate to challenge GOP President Donald Trump on Nov. 3.

Democrats say they enter the convention perhaps more united than they have ever been. With almost 2,700 pledged delegates as of Monday, the former vice president is well past the 1,991 needed to lock up the nomination. Several Republicans are also scheduled to speak as part of the convention.

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Biden said earlier this month he'll accept the nomination from his home state of Delaware. Most Democrats won't attend the convention in person due to Wisconsin's restrictions on large gatherings amid the pandemic.

The city's Fiserv Forum was supposed to host thousands of Democrats, delegates and political leaders, but now only those absolutely necessary will be physically present -- including a handful of locals who might wish to speak in person. The new downsized event will be held at the Wisconsin Center.

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"Unfortunately, downtown Milwaukee will look pretty similar next week to what it does today," Alex Lasry, senior vice president of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, told WISN-TV. The Bucks play at the Fiserv Forum.

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"While the decision was difficult and I said it sucks for Milwaukee and for Wisconsin it was the right one."

Here is a glimpse at the schedule for the 2020 Democratic National Convention:

Day 1 -- Monday

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The opening day of the convention will include meetings of the Hispanic, Black and women's caucuses, and the youth, ethnic and interfaith councils. The theme for Monday is "We the People," the party said.

"America is facing a series of monumental challenges -- as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its rampage, tens of millions of people are out of work, and our nation confronts a legacy of racial injustice that has marginalized too many," the party said in an email. "But as we have learned throughout our history, when we stand united, we can overcome anything.

"Tonight the nation will hear from the many Americans who are rising up to take on these three crises, and who will join Joe Biden in building back better and moving this country forward. With Joe Biden as president, 'we the people' will mean all the people."

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The prime-time segments of the convention, which feature keynote speeches, will begin at 9 p.m. EDT on each night and last until 11 p.m. Actress Eva Longoria will read an introduction to Monday night's program.

Leading off Monday night will be former presidential candidate and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She will be followed by speakers including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The night will conclude with an address by former first lady Michelle Obama.

Monday's appearances will also include multiple Republicans -- including former Ohio Gov. and 2016 GOP presidential candidate John Kasich, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman, former Rep. Susan Molinari, R-N.Y., and former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman.

Day 2 -- Tuesday

The second day of the event includes meetings of the LGBT, rural and Native American caucuses and the veterans and military families, climate crisis and Jewish councils.

Tuesday night's featured speakers will include Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, former presidental nominee and former Secretary of State John Kerry, former President Bill Clinton and Biden's wife, Jill Biden.

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Also part of the program Tuesday will be a program called "Roll Call Across America."

Day 3 -- Wednesday

The third day of the event will feature meetings of the Asian American Caucus and Pacific Islander Caucus and the interfaith and labor councils.

Wednesday night, speakers will include former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, 2016 nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, vice presidential nominee and California Sen. Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama.

Wednesday will also feature performances by entertainers Jennifer Hudson and Billie Eilish.

Day 4 -- Thursday

The final day of the convention will include a meeting of the small business and poverty councils.

Speakers on the final day will include former presidential candidate and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former candidate Pete Buttigieg, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and former candidate Andrew Yang. The event will then culminate with an address by Joe Biden to accept the nomination.

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The final night will also feature a performance by The Chicks.

"Here's my promise to you: If I'm elected president, I will always choose to unite rather than divide," Biden said in a tweet Sunday. "I'll take responsibility instead of blaming others. I'll never forget that the job isn't about me -- it's about you."

The convention will be broadcast live and streamed online. For a comprehensive list of events for each day, click here.

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